SOLDIERS who worked up a sweat for charity have received a ‘phenomenal’ amount of support from the public and raised thousands of pounds.
Members of the Territorial Army’s 73 Regiment Royal Engineers, including 575 Field Squadron whoa re based at Chesterfield, are pedalling the equivalent of the distance from the UK to Camp Bastion on exercise bikes.
Ten volunteers from the Chesterfield Squadron have taken their machines to locations in Sheffield and Chesterfield to collect donations from the public while pedalling.
The cycling squaddies were at Tesco Extra, in Chesterfield, on Saturday, when the Royal Engineers TA Corps band also performed and collected donations at the B2Net Stadium before Chesterfield FC’s home match.
On Sunday, the soldiers were hard at work in Meadowhall, while yesterday they were at the Tesco store on Abbeydale Drive, Millhouses.
On each of the three days, all 10 participants had to pedal the equivalent of 100 kilometres to help meet the target.
Warrant Officer 2 Steve Marsh, of 575 Field Squadron, who was one of those who took part in the epic challenge, said: “The amount of money raised has been above and beyond our expectations.
“Public support has been phenomenal. It’s not only been in the form of donations – we’ve also had people talking to us, really engaging with us and what we have been trying to achieve.”
The squadron has raised £4,436.38 at Meadowhall, £2,813 at Tesco Extra in Chesterfield and £1,066.50 at the B2Net Stadium. The amount collected yesterday has not yet been calculated.
The Chesterfield squadron had set a fundraising target of £5,000 and had already raised £1,600 in sponsorship before the weekend’s collections.
It will be put together with money raised by other squadrons from the regiment and donated to the Army Benevolent Fund, which helps forces personnel and their families at times of personal crisis.